Monday, May 30, 2011


I've been waiting to try out the Mega Ball Play & Freeze Ice Cream Maker, but Northern Utah hasn't had much ice cream weather.  This is the first Memorial Day that I can remember where it snowed!

Grandson Anthony Balducci with the ice cream maker.    Photo by Valerie Phillips
The weather forced us to call off our camping trip, and our family ended up having an indoor picnic Sunday afternoon.  So it seemed a good time to try out a new ice cream gadget.
Every so often companies will send me products to try out. About a month ago, I received a big blue hard-plastic ball in the mail. It reminded me of a space ship, or a soccer ball on steroids, but it's  an ice cream maker.  You put cream, vanilla and sugar in the middle cyclinder, and surround it with ice and rock salt. Then you're supposed to "play" with the ball, pass it around, let everyone roll it or shake it, until the cream freezes.  

Grandson Anthony with the ice cream maker.     Photo by Valerie Phillips
I gave it to my 9-year-old grandson, Anthony, and my son Lonn, to move around.  They first tried kicking it, but it's too heavy  -- about 9 pounds when full of ice and cream. And there's a warning on the box not to kick or throw it hard, because the ball could break. So could your toe!

Partially frozen ice cream.            Photo by Valerie Phillips

After about a 20 minutes, Anthony and Lonn had lost interest, so I opened up the canister to check.  the cream was thickening around the walls of the canister, but still soft in the middle.  I stirred it up as the directions advised, then resealed the canister.  We rolled and shook it around for about 15 more minutes, until it was the consistency of soft-serve ice cream. We could have waited longer to see if it would harden more, but everyone was getting hungry just to try it. It tasted great; more like a milkshake.

 This is a fun novelty and a conversation starter for a party, especially when the guests ask, "What can I do to help?" 
And it would be good for camping, when you need to kids to burn off some energy and stay busy.  But since it only makes a quart (four cups) of ice cream, it won't feed too many people.  In the future,  I'll use my electric ice cream maker as well as the Mega-Ball so we'll have plenty of ice cream to go around.  

Depending on where you buy it, the Mega-Ball Ice Cream Maker costs around $20- $25. There's also a smaller version, but it only makes 2 cups of ice cream. 

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